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Star Trek Opens Strong; Kurtzman and Orci Talk

You can look at tracking all you want, and listen to studio marketers downplaying expectations. But truth is, if a movie plays as well as Star Trek does, the word gets out. The movie opened to an estimated $31 million on Friday (including Thursday night numbers), and we know that the WOM will be strong. So it's going to do a lot better than those $50-65 million estimates. UPDATE: It grossed an estimated $76.5 million for the weekend but scored only 35% under 25. Of course the core demo skewed older. Paramount has been spending the big bucks on luring the younger demo--which will likely expand on upbeat WOM.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 9, 2009 6:45 AM
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Saving Journalism: from Obama to Pincus

President Barack Obama, at the end of his funny, barbed and self-mocking White House Correspondents speech, graciously thanked the assembled press corps for doing their jobs --even when he disagreed with them--and recognized that their profession was under duress. He wished them well as they reinvent journalism.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 9, 2009 4:36 AM
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Media Future

Like it or not, both the publishing and media industries are undergoing seismic changes as they confront the digital future.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 2, 2009 6:21 AM
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Will GE Sell NBC Universal to Time Warner?

As the reeling economy puts more pressure on Hollywood's giant conglomerates, and the Internet looms as the ultimate unknown devaluator, The Daily Beast's Kim Masters reports that at some point in time, whether it's sooner or later, General Electric will be forced to unload NBC Universal--no matter how well it's doing--and that Time Warner's Jeffrey Bewkes might not be able to resist buying it:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2009 7:54 AM
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Star Trek: Early Reviews

Early word on the J.J. Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's reinvention of Star Trek--beyond the early peak Paramount gave Fantastic Fest earlier this month and the footage screened for journos last November--has been strong. One exhib emailed me after an exhibitor's screening:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2009 8:51 AM
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Star Stories, Google Trend Traffic

The new metric in journalism is online traffic. While the movie stars may not pull them in at the boxoffice like they used to, write a story about a star, and the traffic will come.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2009 7:27 AM
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ShoWest: Roger Ebert Honored

After a video montage in which directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Oliver Stone paid tribute to Roger Ebert, Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker presented ShoWest's Career Achievement in Film Journalism Award to the Pulitzer-Prize winning critic of the Chicago Sun-Times. "Roger Ebert is the most popular, most respected, most honored, and most eclectic film critic in American history," Barker said, citing Ebert as "one of the few saviors of independent film--films of all shapes and sizes--American independent features, foreign films, documentaries, and animated films. Ask any independent filmmakers who Roger has championed. Errol Morris will tell you Roger gave him his career. Louis Malle used to tell everyone Roger Ebert saved My Dinner With Andre and Atlantic City from disaster, Robert Altman the same with several of his films. Pan's Labyrinth, Memento, Monster, Hoop Dreams, Roger and Me--we would not know these movies in the way we know them if it were not for Roger Ebert. This is fact."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 3, 2009 5:42 AM
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Blog Watch: NYT Turns Carpetbagger into Year-Round Movie Blog

The New York Times has finally figured out that it's dumb to shut down their movie blog, The Carpetbagger, which has been pegged to media columnist David Carr writing in the guise of amateur Oscar-watcher The Bagger. In past years, when Carr quit the seasonal gig, the blog went dark, which I always thought was a crime. Especially in this competitive age, blog traffic is hard-won and foolish to lose. For the moment, this impersonal NYT staff blog has replaced Carr, who lent a marvelous pulse to The Carpetbagger. Most people want to find a personality, a reason to check out a blog. Aggregation might hold the space for a while. But the numbers will, inevitably, dip.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 5, 2009 5:46 AM
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More Media Upheaval, Leibovitz and Watchmen Reviews

The L.A. media ranks continue to be winnowed. The Media News Group is turning long-time Daily News critic Bob Strauss into an entertainment editor, leaving colleague Sean Means in Salt Lake City (who is keeping track of the declining numbers of film critics) as one of the chain's surviving movie reviewers. At least Strauss has a job. For the moment. The Daily News' film critic Glenn Whipp and TV critic David Kronke are gone. And Media News' Denver Post, which asked its employees to take a week off without pay before March 1, is now the surviving paper in Denver: The Rocky Mountain News published its last edition last week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 2, 2009 6:10 AM
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Blogging: Fast and Loose

Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke insists that she is a journalist/dominatrix--not a blogger. I am tired of bloggers not wanting to cop to being bloggers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 2, 2009 6:01 AM
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